One of the most commonly asked questions I receive is around how I structure my time. How I find balance in all that I have going on. Where the business fits in. Where homeschooling fits in. Where personal stuff fits in. Housework and cooking. All that kind of stuff. Simply put, my answer is a flexible, batch-style schedule. I believe in having a rigid schedule set up but also believe you should be gracious and allow yourself flexibility because that’s life. I am excited to share how I structure my schedule with you and hope that you find what works best for you!
In This Episode, Allie Discusses:
How she plans her week using a flexible, batch-style schedule.
What her weekly batch schedule and monthly batch schedule look like.
How she finds balance between work-heavier days and school-heavier days.
Simple tips for fitting housework into your weekly schedule.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Blog to Business Resource Guide (this is FREE! Don’t miss out!)
Allie’s Blog Post: How I Use Trello
Kendra Hennessy: Mother Like a Boss
Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.
Hey beautiful listeners! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show!
I am happy to be relaxed and chatting about what my week looks like. I get asked about this all of the time. I am finally sitting down and candidly sharing with you how I organize my life. Organize my months. Organize my week. Organize my days. How I find balance in all that I have going on. Where the business fits in. Where homeschooling fits in. Where personal stuff fits in. Housework and cooking. All that kind of stuff. What works for me in getting all of those things done.
It is a lot. I definitely have my days and weeks that are harder than others. Times where I feel like I am struggling and feel like I am not good enough. Not organized enough. I am definitely very normal and I have my days and my tough times. That is just going to happen no matter what you do. I will say that there is a lot going on in my life, but I definitely feel very present, focused, and like I am never really stretched too, too thin.
I am happy to answer your guys’ questions. I am happy to sit down with you and candidly talk about my weekly schedule and what that looks like.
Before we dive into that, I do want to say that I never want to give the impression that I do it all. Or that everything is perfect over here. I definitely need you guys to know that I have a team behind me now. It wasn’t always that way.
I do have about 10 or more people working for my incorporation. There is a lot of help. I work a lot less than I used to, especially at the start of my business. Back then my work was incredibly heavy and diligent. I definitely paid my dues. I woke at about 4 a.m. every day for nearly a year. I worked before Brian would go to his job. I worked in all the cracks of my day, naptime, and after bedtime. I feel like I barely slept during that time. I did that until I “made it” or whatever.
I am going into what my work schedule looks like now because I get questions about it all the time. I am assuming that there are other moms out there who can benefit from this.
This is just a really deep dive into my weekly routine and schedule. I have shared this before, but basically I was introduced to the idea of “batching” your work when I was researching how to get my work done and be productive. When entrepreneurship was new to me, I found myself being sporadic and jumping around from task to task. Feeling very frazzled because I had to do all my own social media, all my own writing, all my own promoting, writing my own emails, responding to comments. Doing everything by myself because it was new and I couldn’t afford to hire anyone else. That’s just what I was doing.
I was introduced to this idea of batching, which is a pretty common work method. Basically, you segment your work by type. If you are writing emails, you are writing emails. You are not writing your emails, then checking in on social media, then recording a podcast episode. You are “batching” your work.
So, you say, “OK I am going to work for two hours and I am going to write emails. When I am done writing emails, then I will go work on social media comments.” You are putting like tasks together.
Basically the idea behind this is that in terms of your psyche, it makes you more productive because you are already in that zone. You are already in the zone of writing emails or writing blog posts, or homeschooling kids. You are already in that mindset and in that zone of your brain, so you don’t have to switch tasks and re-gauge yourself. You’re already there.
If you get all of those tasks done at the same time, you fly through it. You work faster and better. You are more focused and more productive. This method really helped me in running my business. I decided to take it into my schedule. I carried this over and made this type of schedule up for myself because it worked for my life.
I have a “batch-style” schedule. It is very flexible and changes as needed. Right now, I am recording and it is almost 3:30 my time. I can’t even tell you the last time I was recording a podcast episode at this time. I almost never record at this time. I am never working at this time. This is like a 1% thing happening this week. This is just where I landed this week because I am recovering from losing my voice, and I am catching up on episodes. We have had kind of a weird week and I am just squeezing in an episode before I take the boys to their baseball game.
So, it is very flexible. I am not a super, super rigid person. I believe in having a rigid schedule set up but being gracious to yourself and allowing yourself flexibility because that’s life. It is much easier if you can ebb and flow as needed instead of trying to be perfectionistic and super, super rigid.
But I definitely plan my week and even my month in a batch style schedule. How that looks is I have Mondays for work tasks. Often these are the days where I am recording the podcast, interviewing guests for the podcasts, or getting my work tasks done.
I keep a running list of work tasks. My assistant, Hayley, helps me manage that. If something pops up that absolutely has to be done by me and can’t be delegated to another team member, then she will put it on my task list.
I know that on Mondays, I am pretty much always working. It is just a good day for me. I am in a good working mindset, after coming off of a restful weekend.
I like to start my day by feeling accomplished. On Mondays, I am always working. I pretty much start my day working and I work for a few hours – 2,3 hours; 4 at most – if there is a lot going on. I can’t remember the last time I worked that long in a day.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are definitely less work but more heavy homeschool days.
Fridays are my days of meetings. If you guys follow me on Instagram, you will see that on my story. Pretty much every Friday, I have batched meetings. It starts about 8 o’clock in the morning, my time, Pacific Time Zone. I have meetings about every half hour, back-to-back. I leave just enough margin to snag some breakfast and some lunch. I have meetings back-to-back until as early as 10:30 and sometimes as late as 12:30 or 1:00. It just depends on the week.
I have a meeting with our CFOs. I have a meeting with our PR girl, Ashley, who is amazing. I have a weekly meeting with my assistant, Hayley. She is also my Chief of Staff, so we just check in with each other. Then we have a weekly team meeting. There are also meetings for the Print Shop that I run. There’s lots of different things going on.
If someone on the team needs a separate one-on-one with me, we will have a meeting for that. Sometimes that’s social media management, marketing, whatever. There are always different needs. Depending on the load and the need that week, I have at least a couple of hours of meetings on Fridays, sometimes more than that.
Hey friends! Just wanted to let you know I have two freebies that are really going to help you out if this episode is relevant to your life.
The first one is the Blog to Business Resource Guide. It is a guide of my favorite books, websites, courses, and influencers who all helped me when I was growing my business. It’s basically anything that helped me in my entrepreneurial journey of starting my business and in running my business. That’s totally free. It is in the show notes, which I will link in one second.
I also have the Trello Training Video. There is a big blog post that I put together a while back that basically talks about why and how I use Trello, which is a free online platform as well as a mobile app, to organize my entire life. I keep everything in Trello. It really helps me function and keep my business and personal life running smoothly.
There is also a training video for those of you who are a bit more visual and want to go more in depth on how to use Trello. It’s all about how I use Trello, the labels that it has, all the different features of Trello, to keep my entire life and my business organized.
Those things are totally free and I think they will really be helpful if you are a mompreneur.
Visit alliecasazza.com/shownotes/30. Find the free downloads for both of those things.
I hope that helps you guys out and good luck with your businesses!
So, if that makes sense, that’s kind of how I batch my week.
On Fridays, I can mentally and emotionally prepare for meetings because I know every Friday is the day of meetings. There are Fridays where I won’t be at the team meeting. I have things set up to where it is delegated.
I really believe that because I am a mom it is important for me to have my business set up, as early as I could afford it, to where I am replaceable. I don’t want everyone to have to come to me. I don’t want to be a control freak and have to have the final say on every single thing.
So, I have empowered my Chief of Staff, my Podcast Manager, everyone who has a significant role in the business, to make decisions whenever they can, whenever they feel comfortable and confident to do that. That is 87% of the time. That way, if I need to miss the team meeting, I can. If I need Hayley to step in and have a meeting with our CFOs she can do that. That’s been really great. And there have been weeks where that has happened.
I am there whenever I can be because I love what I do. I love my business and I love the people that work with me. But every once in a while life happens and I can’t be there, so I do have someone who can step in for me if I need them to.
In terms of my work tasks, I really am only doing what I need to and love to do. I write all my own emails. I do all my own writing. I plan my own podcast content. I am on my Instagram. I am in my Facebook groups. I do my own livestreams, obviously. I do all my own leading you guys, connecting with you guys, teaching you guys. I do all my own stuff like that.
I love to write, so I always write my own emails, content, and stuff like that. I just have people managing the other things that can easily be automated so that I am practicing what I preach and being present in my personal life and with my family whenever I am not doing those other tasks.
That’s kind of how I flexibly batch-style my schedule.
Then I also have monthly batching. By that I mean, typically the last week of every month and the first week of every month, I am recording the podcast for the following month. For example, the last week of February and the first week of March I was recording for April. We get a little behind sometimes. Right now it is the middle of March and I am recording an episode for April because I lost my voice and took two weeks off. Again, there is a huge benefit in having cushion and giving yourself space and time and that is why we do that.
Anyway, even my month is batched. Those two weeks of the month are focused on recording the podcast and Hayley will make sure that my other work tasks are very light. Just writing emails and maybe doing a couple of livestreams, but a lot less work because my weeks are full of recording during that time.
The other two weeks of the month are more heavily working. Writing emails, blog posts, connecting with you guys (my audience) and doing livestreams. Spending more time on Instagram. I use Instagram stories as a “vlog” so to speak, so I will spend more time on there during those weeks of the month. It is kind of back and forth that way.
Batching has really helped me. I think even if you are not an entrepreneur you can absolutely use the idea of batching with your schedule, even with housework and stuff like that.
Then like I said, I have work-heavier days and school-heavier days. I work and do school with my kids four days of the week. For example, on Mondays I know that I am going to be working. But I also will do school with the kids. I usually work first and then do school with the kids after. But Brian will help me out on Mondays with school for the kids. He will be doing some schooling while I am in my office recording, working or whatever.
Then after I am done, we will switch and he will come out here and do any editing that he has to do. In case you don’t know, Brian does all the media, videography, photos, editing, all that kind of stuff for the business. So, he will come out here and do that and I will do school with the kids. Then we will do whatever we need to do together, make diner, go to baseball, or whatever we have going on that night.
Tuesday through Thursday are more school-heavy days. I may work and come out here and knock out a couple of tasks, but those days are more school focused days. Usually, I don’t work those days, but it is hard to say that I never do. That’s really it.
My personal life and housework are definitely batched too. Again, if you follow me on Instagram you will see that Brian and I have a weekly date night. It is kind of religious for us. We only skip it if we have to. Even then, we will try to squeeze in some time alone together because we look forward to it.
We try to get in some one-on-one time with our kids whenever we can. With housework and stuff like that I try to look ahead. I am saying this humbly because right now this week has been really crazy and we had a lot of extra baseball and I have not done that this week.
But usually, I try to look ahead and see “we are going to need a crockpot meal on Monday because I have to work and the boys have a baseball game, so I am not going to have time to cook dinner.” Or, “we are going to get takeout on Thursday because it is crazy and we have horseback and then baseball or whatever”.
I look ahead and plan accordingly. I try to have my family eat at home whenever we can. We definitely do enjoy eating out, so if we need to, the night calls for it, and it is going to be a lot easier, we will definitely eat out together.
In terms of cleaning and maintaining my house, I am a big believer in not scheduling this per se and getting it all done as I go. So, let’s say that I am homeschooling the kids and I have to use the restroom. When I go into the restroom, I do my thing. Then I will grab a Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom wipe which they sell at Target (and probably anywhere else you can get cleaning stuff), and I will just do a wipe down. Wipe down the sink, the toilet – done. I will grab a paper towel from under the sink and the window spray and do the mirrors real quick.
I will have Bella run the vacuum while I switch the laundry upstairs. I will have my Robovac running while I am cooking dinner downstairs. I will have the kids pick up and straighten up the throw pillows and stuff while I am getting dinner on the table.
I have my kids do as many chores as they can for their ages, which is a lot more than I think we usually give our kids credit for. My kids unload and reload the dishwasher. I know it’s terrifying. I am always worried they are going to break a dish, but it is worth it for them to learn how to help out. And for you to be less stressed and have them grow up to be responsible adults.
Delegate to your kids. Bella can do laundry. The kids can vacuum and pick up. There are all kinds of things they can do. Take care of pets. De-weeding the front yard. Things like that.
I delegate to my employees whenever I can in the business and I delegate to my kids and my husband where I can at home.
I also have a housekeeping team that comes every other week to the do the deep cleaning stuff because I do work and I would rather have that time with my family and pay for that to be delegated.
Little things can be fit in between. When I wake up in the morning, part of my morning ritual, before I start to get dressed for the day, is to throw in a load of laundry. Before I go to bed at night, that load of laundry is dried, folded and put away at some point. Sometimes it is all done in the morning; other times it is not done until I go to bed. It just depends. One load a day keeps the mountain away. That’s my saying. Things like that.
I hope that answers your questions. I hope that is helpful and not too rambling. I know it is kind of hard to describe your schedule without being visual.
Hey friends! Have you gotten the Time-Blocking Mom Workbook yet? If not, you need to check this out!
It is a workbook that I put together myself. It is all about time blocking, which I am big on. I help you navigate this in a flexible way, so you are not stuck to this unrealistic, rigid schedule.
Basically, think of this as a budget for your time. You are telling every hour of your day where to go before it comes. Because the fact is, we all have the same amount of hours in the day. We can complain that there is not enough time in the day and we can never get our stuff done, but the fact is we have the responsibility on our own selves to be intentional with our days and with our time and with what we are doing with that time.
So, you might as well own up to the fact that you have the same amount of hours in the day that everyone else has, and tell each hour where to go instead of playing the victim and complaining about the fact that there is just not enough time to do everything you need to do, right?
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Go check it out! Go to Alliecasazza.com/timeblocking for more information about the workbook and to download for just $9.00.
Check it out. Let me help you get more intentional with your days.
That’s how I do it! Batching has really helped me a lot. There are some weeks that are really, really heavy and busy. It just happens sometimes, even if we are intentional about what we allow to take up our time. Sometimes you just go through a busy season and that’s OK. There is grace for that. There’s takeout for that. There are crockpot meals for that. There are cereal nights for that.
I think this is where it comes in handy to have an early morning ritual to get my day started off on the right foot. If you want to know more about that, I will link to that podcast episode because that’s a good one and really is the key to me being able to having the energy to do all of these things.
That’s pretty much it. I hope that was helpful. If there is ever an episode on a topic that you want more in-depth information about, or you want a follow up because I didn’t answer enough, you can always send me an email, or message me on Instagram. Even if I don’t respond I will see it and maybe it will turn into another episode.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you. I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!